The cinema is an incredible place if you think about it, I live around the corner of this small 4-screen theatre which was built in the early 1950s. It may be in an area full of chavs, and drunk university students (usually at night). But it’s a great place to see the latest films!
It’s still preserved brilliantly to this day! It’s as nostalgic, as it’s excellent quality in picture and sound. The red velvet seats and carpets give you a true sense of comfort. And tickets are only £4.50 for a student, and popcorn is about as expensive, as a set of tic-tacs.
And since I’m planning to see the upcoming Fast and Furious film in that very place, this got me wondering- What are the best petrolhead films, that every car enthusiast needs to see?
1. Vanishing Point, 1971
If you like your V8s, muscle cars, Mopars, or even just thrills in general. Then you’ll know that Vanishing Point is one of the most influential films in history. Despite the rather pointless story line…
In reality, playing ‘I dare you’ which involves a Dodge Challenger and endless road crimes, can lead to people thinking that the driver is a complete hooligan.
But this petrolhead film simply doesn’t make us think this! We’re aligned with Kowalski (a Vietnam war hero) who is challenged to drive this Mopar beast from Utah to San Francisco in just 15 hours!
Honestly, if you’re looking for a night in, which isn’t ‘Netflix and chill’, then this petrolhead film is certainly up there in your ‘to watch’ list!
2. Le Mans, 1971
In case you’re about to ask, Bullitt isn’t going to appear in this list. Don’t get me wrong, the car chase is a golden ! But the rest of the film is a bit grey. For that, check out the best car chases article right here!
But Steve McQueen still gets credit in this niche ’70s piece of awesomeness.
The film is a wilfully accurate representation of what the 24 hours of sweat, really looked like! If your car crashes, your life can crash too.
And if you’re a Porsche fanboy, look no further as there’s a beautiful opening sequence of Steve McQueen’s actual 911s, and a porn film of 917 racers!
3. Grand Prix, 1966
The purpose of Grand Prix is quite similar to Le Mans, it documents just what life was like for the drivers of this bloody dangerous Motorsport.
I literally cannot stress enough, just how realistic this film is! From terrified wives and girlfriends of the drivers, to incredible cinematography of the cars storming around iconic circuits!
It’s weird to realise that even when this film was released at a time when F1 was a killer, the FIA still wouldn’t budge on safety.
4. Rush, 2013
Ron Howard decided that it was a good idea to emphasise just how much of a blood-sport, F1 was in the 1970s, and brought it to the modern day theatre screens.
Think of this then, as a ‘Grand Prix’ film for the 21st century. Only this time, there’s some competition in store!
Thor it seems, is now fighting against an Austrian bloke to claim the 1976 world championship. Both actors of course, are playing the iconic James Hunt and Niki Lauda.
If you’re bored on a Saturday night, and is endlessly tired of watching ‘I’m a Celebrity’, then Rush is guaranteed to shiver your skin!
5. The Italian Job, 1969
Let’s move away from the Motorsports, and onto the classics! Even though the plot of Micheal Caine’s iconic hit is quite dark, he and his squad are basically stealing $4 million worth of gold, which the Chinese paid to Fiat. And the Mafia isn’t happy.
But if you like cars, then this film is full of them doing awesome things! From a calming opening of a Lamborghini Miura cruising on some mountain paths, to a Fiat Dino getting stuck in traffic…
Then of course, there’s the 3 Minis navigating through unusual paths to find freedom! If you’re British and need a film to have your takeaway curry with, then look no further! (Don’t forget the lovely music as well)
6. Cannonball Run, 1981
We all love a good comedy film, right? Dumb and Dumber is up there with the best, as well as Home Alone 2.
But if you’re a petrolhead, then Burt Reynolds’ Cannonball Run might just make you chuckle to a large degree.
Hysterical scenes include Rodger Moore pretending to be 007 in a spoof DB5, and Jackie Chan fighting a bunch of hillbilly bikers XD. Oh yeah, don’t forget about ‘Captain Chaos’.
Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a combination between cars and comedy, Cannonball Run won’t disappoint!
7. The Dukes Of Hazzard, 2005
If you weren’t able to catch up with the Duke boys back in the original TV series, don’t worry, because this epic film will fill summarise it for you!
Burt Reynolds is back too! Only this time, he plays the evil Boss Hogg (drives an ostentatious white Cadillac Eldorado) who wants to use Hazzard county for coal mining.
Bo and Luke Duke, and the awesome General Lee are there to basically stop him. But that doesn’t stand in the way for a few jumps, explosions and childish humour!
You’ll see what I mean when you watch this.
8. Gone In 60 Seconds, 2000
50 top end cars, 72 hours, all need to be stolen. Damn, that’s a tall order!
But that’s exactly what the plot is in this awesome new millennium thriller! It’s not just the S-Class Mercs that are hard to steal, but Eleanor (a 1967 Shelby Mustang GT500) is almost like a diamond in a Paris museum.
With spine-chilling stunt driving and some truly glorious cars, Gone In 60 Seconds is a fantastic petrolhead’s film, that every car enthusiast needs to watch!
So that’s the list of 8 petrolhead films that every car enthusiast needs to watch. Comment below anything that’s been missed!